Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) shot back at Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) for his earlier remarks in support of ending the US’ trade embargo with Cuba on Thursday’s “Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, declaring that Paul “has no idea what he’s talking about.”
“He [Paul] has no idea what he’s talking about. And I’ll tell you why. Number one, the embargo on Cuba is an embargo that, quite frankly, has a bunch of holes in it. To give you an example, the United States is still one of Cuba’s largest trading partners, even now with the embargo, all sorts of commercial products and humanitarian products, like foodstuffs and other things are available in Cuba. Americans travel there all the time on what they call cultural exchanges. A bunch of Americans travel there by the way in violation of the embargo through third countries, Cuban-Americans can travel as many times as they want. They can send a lot of money back to Cuba to their relatives. What’s hurting the Cuban people is not the embargo, what’s hurting the Cuban people is the Cuban government. Look, Venezuela’s economy looks like Cuba’s economy now, you can’t even buy toilet paper in Caracas, and there’s no embargo on Venezuela. What Venezuela has in common with Cuba is they both have adopted radical socialist governmental policies…the embargo is not what’s hurting the Cuban people. it’s the lack of freedom and the lack of competent leaders” he stated.
Rubio also argued “it is not in the national interest [of] the United States to have dictatorships in our region, dictatorships lead to oppression and now, what the president is saying, by recognizing Cuba’s government is that in the 21st century being a Communist, brutal dictatorship is an acceptable form of government.” He further accused the Obama administration and various opinion writers of coddling Cuba’s left-wing dictatorship while demanding harsh treatment towards right-wing regimes.
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett